Refined simplicity never goes out of style.
When entertaining a handful of guests who know their spirits, serve whiskey on wheels! If you want to chic up the cocktail hour in an instant (prestigious guests? bourbon collector?), load up the bar cart with the essentials for making old fashioneds.
Allow guests to make their own or you can easily make at least four drinks at a time. You can make a batch of Old Fashioneds, but seeing them being crafted by hand creates an experience.
Don’t be intimidated by its stature in the cocktail canon; we’ve got you covered.
Follow this checklist and take a few tips and you’re all set to serve and sip on Old Fashioneds like a pro.
To set up a DIY Old Fashioned Bar cart, you’ll need:
3 bottles of whiskey
Rye is traditional but most prefer bourbon. Choose two bourbons you know the crowd drinks, then add a rye, such as Rittenhouse Rye or Sazerac for OF street cred.
Rocks glasses see tips
Aromatic bitters and orange bitters
A bottle of Angostura bitters is a must! We like orange bitters also.
Jiggers and a barspoon
Large ice cubes see tips
Simple syrup (1:1)
OF Bar Cart Tips
- Choose a practical bar cart
Think twice before rolling out the brass vintage ’60s bar cart unless it’s a small, sophisticated crowd. Find a lightweight bar cart you can roll and don’t mind getting sticky or scratched.
- Round up the rocks glasses
Also known as old fashioned glasses for a reason (the smaller 6 to 8 ounces) and there’s the double old fashioned that’s a little larger. Grab the best ones you have—vintage Culvers, crystal wedding gifts, whatever. The proper glass is part of the OF experience.
- Large ice cubes are essential
Small ice cubes means the drinks will dilute too fast. Make large ice cubes (spherical or square) the night before to drop in each drink.
- Add something old
The old fashioned conjures up images of rich dark leather and handsome, masculine accessories. An antique biscuit box makes a fabulous container for flowers and an old whiskey barrel is a fun prop.
- Pair a party pick-up
Don’t forget to include something salty for nibbling! Pairing picks: a bowl of Southern-style spiced pecans or bacon-wrapped pretzels are ideal for old fashioneds.
Founder and fearless leader of the Milk Punch Media pack, Melissa makes a mean espresso martini. She’s also silently correcting your grammar.